Mold is a member of the Fungi kingdom. Unlike plants, fungi lack chlorophyll and must rely on the digestion of plants and other organic matter for nourishment. Fungi play an important role in the ecosystem by breaking down and consuming dead organic matter.
Mold is everywhere in the environment, indoors and outdoors. Outdoor mold concentrations are considered to be normal, background mold levels Mold can be a problem when environmental conditions cause it to grow at a high rate indoors.
Mold growth requires: moisture, food, and oxygen.
Building materials including wood, paper, carpet, insulation, and drywall are food sources for mold.
Moisture control is the key to mold control. Introduce water and you have all of the right conditions for mold to grow indoors. If mold is a problem indoors, clean up the mold and get rid of the excess water or moisture. Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. Wash mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely. Absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles & carpet) that become moldy may have to be replaced. More information and guidance about mold can be found on the EPA's website.